Classe delle Lauree in Biotecnologie
 Docenti: Prof. Alessio Lodola Logout

Prof. Alessio Lodola

Professore Associato
SSD: CHIM/08 - chimica farmaceutica

Tel: 0521905062 Email:
Fax: Skype:


• Classe delle Lauree in Biotecnologie

Corsi di insegnamento:
Fondamenti di Chimica farmaceutica


Academic Titles 
  • 2002: Laurea in Chimica e Tecnologia Farmaceutiche (Degree in Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry) at the Università degli Studi di Parma (110/110 cum laude).
  • 2006: Dottore in Ricerca in Chimica Farmaceutica (PhD in Medicinal Chemistry) at the Università degli Studi di Parma.
  • 2005: Ricercatore (Researcher) at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Università degli Studi di Parma. 
  • Since 2008: Ricercatore confermato (Researcher) at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Università degli Studi di Parma.
  • October 2014: Professore Associato in Chimica Farmaceutica (Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry), at the Department of Pharmacy, Università degli Studi di Parma. 

Current Position 

  • Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Pharmacy, Università degli Studi di Parma.

Research Experiences 

  • PhD student (2002-2005) in the Drug Design and Discovery group led by Prof. Marco Mor at the Dipartimento Farmaceutico of the Università degli Studi di Parma, working at the discovery and optimization of FAAH and NAAA inhibitors.
  • Visiting Scientist (2003) and Post-doctoral Researcher (2006) at the School of Chemistry, University of Bristol (UK), in the computational chemistry group of Prof. Adrian Mulholland, working in the field of enzymatic reaction simulations, applying hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics to novel drug targets, i. e. FAAH. 
  • Visiting Scientist and Scientific Consultant (2009-2011) at the Drug Discovery and Development Department of the Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, led by Prof. Daniele Piomelli, working at the discovery of the first selective antagonist of the anandamide transporter, known as FLAT (FAAH-like anandamide transporter). Research in the field of computational design of novel monoglyceride lipase (MGL) inhibitors was also performed. 

Outcome of the Research

  • The research activities of Dr. Lodola have lead to more than 60 publications in peer-reviewed international journals (including J Med Chem, ChemMedChem, PNAS, PloS One and Nature Neuroscience) and to a H-index of 21.

Funded Projects as Principal Investigator

  • FIRB FUTURO IN RICERCA 2010 "Discovery and Development of EphA2 ligands as molecularly targeted chemotherapeutic drugs" (years: 2012-2015, funded amount: 550,000 euros)

International Awards

  • Emerging investigator at the Gordon Research Conference on `Cannabinoid Function in the CNS`, University of New England, Biddeford, ME, 2009. 
  • Runner-up of the 2010 European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC) Prize for `Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia` 
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Northumbria, Newcastle (UK)
  • Academic Editor of PloS ONE

  • Design and optimization of covalent inhibitors of FAAH and NAAA enzymes, which are the main responsible for the hydrolysis of the endocannabinoid anandamide and the PPAR-alpha agonist, palmitoylethanolamide;
  • Design and optimization of new classes of high-affinity melatonin receptor ligands by docking and molecular dynamics approaches;
  • Design of novel antiproliferative agents including inhibitors of the EGFR receptor and small-molecule antagonists of the Eph-ephrin system

To get an idea of my research interests please have a look at my recent talks as invited speaker:

or visit

Within the Drug Design & Discovery Group of the Department of Pharmacy I'm the Principal Investigator of a FIRB research project aimed at the discovery of novel anticancer compounds targeting the EPHA2 receptor. The research unit involves other two talented senior scientists, Dr. Massimiliano Tognolini and Dr. Matteo Incerti, and 5 post-doctoral fellows.  So far our efforts have led to identification of UniPR129 as the first competitive small EPHA2 antagonist blocking in vitro angiogenesis at low micromolar concentrations as well as to the discovery of several chemotypes that may serve as template structures to obtain effective compounds able to modulate the activity of specific EPH receptor subtypes.


If you are interested, please have a look of our recent findings in the field:

  1. Tognolini M, Incerti M, Lodola A.* ARE WE USING THE RIGHT PHARMACOLOGICAL TOOLS TO TARGET EPHA4? ACS Chemical Neurosci2014, in press.
  2. Pala D, Castelli R, Incerti M, Russo S, Tognolini M, Giorgio C, Hassan-Mohamed I, Zanotti I, Vacondio F,  Rivara S, Mor M, Lodola A.* COMBINING LIGAND- and STRUCTURE-BASED APPROACHES FOR THE DISCOVERY OF NEW INHIBITORS OF THE EPHA2-EPHRIN-A1 INTERACTION, J Comp. Inf. Model2014, 54, 2621-2626.
  3. Lodola A,* Incerti M, Tognolini M.  ON THE USE OF 2,5-DIMETHYLPYRROL-1-YL BENZOIC ACID DERIVATIVES AS EPH-EPHRIN ANTAGONISTS, Journal of Virology, 201488, 12173.
  4. Hassan-Mohamed I, Giorgio C, Incerti M, Russo S, Pala D, Pasquale EB, Vicini P, Barocelli E, Rivara S, Mor M, Lodola A, Tognolini M.* UNIPR129 IS A COMPETITIVE SMALL MOLECULE EPH-EPHRIN ANTAGONIST BLOCKING IN VITRO ANGIOGENESIS AT LOW MICROMOLAR CONCENTRATIONSBr J Pharmacol2014in press.
  5. Tognolini M, Hassan-Mohamed I, Giorgio C, Zanotti I, Lodola A. Therapeutic perspectives of Eph-ephrin system modulation. Drug Discov Today. 2014; 19, 661-669.
  6. Tognolini M, Incerti M, Pala D, Russo S, Castelli R, Hassan-Mohamed I, Giorgio C, Lodola A.* TARGET HOPPING AS A USEFUL TOOL FOR THE IDENTIFICATION OF NOVEL EPHA2 PROTEIN-PROTEIN ANTAGONISTS. ChemMedChem 20149, 67-72.
  7. Russo S, Incerti M, Tognolini M, Castelli R, Pala D, Hassan-Mohamed I, Giorgio C, De Franco F, Gioiello A, Vicini P, Barocelli E, Rivara S, Mor M, Lodola A.*. SYNTHESIS AND STRUCTURE-ACTIVITY RELATIONSHIPS OF AMINO ACID CONJUGATES OF CHOLANIC ACID AS ANTAGONISTS OF THE EPHA2 RECEPTOR. Molecules 2013, 18, 13043-13060.
  8. Incerti M, Tognolini M, Russo S, Pala D, Giorgio C, Hassan-Mohamed I, Noberini R, Pasquale EB,Vicini P, Piersanti S, Rivara S, Barocelli E, Mor M, Lodola A.* AMINO ACID CONJUGATES OF LITHOCHOLIC ACID AS ANTAGONISTS OF THE EPHA2 RECEPTORJ Med Chem 201356, 2936-2947.
  9. Tognolini M, Incerti M, Hassan-Mohamed I, Giorgio C, Russo S, Bruni R, Lelli B, Bracci L, Noberini R, Pasquale EB, Barocelli E, Vicini P, Mor M, Lodola A.* STRUCTURE-ACTIVITY RELATIONSHIPS AND MECHANISM OF ACTION OF EPH-EPHRIN ANTAGONISTSINTERACTION OF CHOLANIC ACID WITH THE EPHA2 RECEPTOR. ChemMedChem 20127, 1071-1083.
  10. Giorgio C, Mohamed IH, Flammini L, Barocelli E, Incerti M, Lodola A, Tognolini M.* LITHOCHOLIC ACID IS AN EPH-EPHRIN LIGAND INTERFERING WITH EPH KINASE ACTIVATIONPLoS ONE 2011, 6(3):e18128.
I'm also interested to enzyme catalysis and mechanism of inhibition of covalent inhibitors. In the last few years, in collaboration with Prof. Adrian Mulholland of the University of Bristol, we investigated the mechanism of action of therapeutically relevant enzymes.


If you are interested, please have a look of our recent findings in the field:
  1. Christov CZ, Lodola A, Karabencheva-Christova TG, Wan S, Coveney PV, Mulholland AJ. Conformational effects on the pro-S hydrogen abstraction reaction  in cyclooxygenase-1: an integrated QM/MM and MD study. Biophys J. 2013, 104, L5-7. 
  2. Lodola A, Mulholland AJ. Computational enzymology. Methods Mol Biol.2013, 924, 67-89.
  3. Lodola A, Capoferri L, Rivara S, Tarzia G, Piomelli D, Mulholland A, Mor M. Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics modeling of fatty acid amide hydrolase reactivation distinguishes substrate from irreversible covalent inhibitors. J Med Chem. 2013 56, 2500-2512.
  4. Lodola A, Mor M, Sirirak J, Mulholland AJ. Insights into the mechanism and inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase from quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) modelling. Biochem Soc Trans. 2009, 37, 363-367.
  5. Lodola A, Mor M, Rivara S, Christov C, Tarzia G, Piomelli D, Mulholland AJ. Identification of productive inhibitor binding orientation in fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) by QM/MM mechanistic modelling. Chem Commun (Camb)2008, 214-216.

Struttura di afferenza:
Dipartimento di Farmacia

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Ultimo aggiornamento: 01/04/2015 12:02